John Polyzogopoulos is a partner in Blaney McMurtry’s Commercial Litigation Group.
John’s practice covers a wide variety of commercial and business disputes. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario as both trial and appellate counsel, as well as before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Nunavut Court of Justice. He also practices in the area of alternative dispute resolution, advocating for clients before private arbitrators and mediators.
John has a wealth of experience with the Business Corporations Act, acting as what he calls a “corporate divorce lawyer”, whereby he helps business people who are being unfairly treated or oppressed by their partners or co-shareholders disentangle their affairs so that they can focus on growing their businesses.
John also helps clients in all aspects of financial restructuring and asset recovery law. He assists creditors, whether they be individuals, businesses or financial institutions, recover debts owing to them by enforcing their mortgages, appointing receivers to recover assets or simply filing suit. He also helps debtors who may find themselves in financial difficulties negotiate with creditors or otherwise restructure their financial affairs. Often, John acts not for debtors or creditors, but for receivers, trustees in bankruptcy or monitors who have been appointed to administer or monitor a debtor’s affairs in various types of insolvency proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act or the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
While acting for creditors, receivers or trustees, it sometimes becomes clear very early on that a fraud, such as a Ponzi scheme, has been perpetrated. John has extensive experience in detecting and investigating fraud and in then pursuing the wrongdoers. Among the tools John uses to pursue fraudsters are the appointment of receivers to take control of their assets or petitioning them into bankruptcy and using the investigative powers available to creditors and trustees under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
Other tools John employs include obtaining Mareva injunctions, which are court orders that freeze assets that are about to be removed from Ontario to avoid creditors, and Anton Piller orders, which are court orders that authorize the private search of premises and the seizure of documents that are at risk of being destroyed by a fraudster. John has also obtained injunctions from the court to prevent employees and business partners from misappropriating his clients’ confidential information and unfairly competing with them.
In this day and age, commerce knows no boundaries. John has extensive experience in helping clients enforce foreign judgments against defendants in Ontario and in sorting out which laws apply to, and which court should hear disputes involving, cross-border cases.
The construction industry is one of the pillars of Ontario’s economy. John advises owners, contractors, consultants and various professionals involved in the construction industry and helps clients navigate their rights and obligations under the Construction Lien Act.
John also acts for both plaintiffs and defendants in product liability cases in which defective products caused harm to people or property. In addition, John has experience acting both for and against various levels of government and in navigating the added layer of complexity that matters involving governments sometimes bring.
John also represents clients in matters of professional negligence and assists professionals in defending regulatory and disciplinary proceedings brought against them by various government regulators or professional colleges. In the past, John has acted in such matters involving financial advisers, lawyers, accountants, dental hygienists, engineers and insurance brokers, among other professionals. In one case, he represented a national association of financial advisers as intervener before the Supreme Court of Canada in a matter involving a securities law regulatory issue of national importance.
John is a sports enthusiast. He has been lucky enough to have been able to fuse his passion for sports with his work, representing both local and national amateur hockey associations in various contentious matters. This has allowed him to gain insight into the issues and challenges facing not-for-profit and charitable entities.
A past President and board member of the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers’ Association (HCLA), John is the director of the HCLA’s pro bono legal clinic, which offers free legal advice to disadvantaged members of our community.